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Community Fund Lands Additional Financial Backer

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A significant financial boost has been secured for the Sunderland ARISE project with the announcement that Morgan Sindall has pledged £10,000 to the initiative.

ARISE - the Alliance to Reward Initiatives and Social Enterprise - is designed to give assistance to both organisations and individuals from Sunderland to run activities that benefit the local community.

Launched in November 2011 by Land Securities, owner of the Bridges shopping centre, applicants are invited to make a claim for financial awards of up to £500.

David Smailes, area director at Morgan Sindall, comments: "ARISE is a robust and brilliant idea and we instantly recognised the difference this project will make to the local community.

"We felt that pledging our support and getting involved in this initiative early would really help to get it off the ground. We only hope that our financial contribution goes some way to help bolster community spirit and keeps groups and organisations in a position to really improve the quality of life for many people across Sunderland."

Andy Bradley, director of the Bridges and chairman of the board, adds: "To bring another financial backer on board so quickly after its launch is tremendous news for ARISE.

"I'm really pleased that Morgan Sindall has seen the true potential of this initiative and has agreed to pledge such a generous amount of money - this will undoubtedly make a massive difference to how many people we'll be able to help and support in the local community."

ARISE receives valuable support from a number of stakeholders in Sunderland who give their time on a voluntary basis to run the fund. 

All requests for funding will be considered by the volunteer committee which consists of local Sunderland figureheads; Harry Collinson of Collinson's Jewellers, Zoe Channing, assistant head of culture and tourism at Sunderland City Council, and Rob Lawson, editor of the Sunderland Echo.

To date, more than 10 applications have been made for ARISE funding, six of which have been award funding and the second batch of requests will be presented to the committee later this month where a decision will be made to determine which further applications have proved successful.

The Echo's editor, Mr Lawson, urged would-be applicants not to miss out on the opportunity to make a bid for a share of ARISE funds.

"As committee members are really proud to be involved in this exciting initiative and we look forward to receiving a wealth of exciting funding opportunities. There are great people out there, doing great things for Sunderland, and this is a unique chance to apply for funding to take that community work to the next level or to get that great idea off the ground and make a difference to the lives of people locally. We want to hear from businesses and individuals from all walks of life who are interested in running all sorts of  local projects - from sporting activities and environmental initiatives to youth development and education and training."

The ARISE community fund  has a cash reserve donated by Land Securities to get the initiative started but any other stakeholders in Sunderland who wish to get involved in the ARISE project to help sustain its community mission are advised to get in touch with the ARISE team by emailing bridges@onlybeattie.com